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Phillies trying to trade Jonathan Papelbon

Dec 6, 2013, 3:42 PM EDT

Washington Nationals v Philadelphia Phillies Getty Images

Two seasons into a four-year, $46 million contract the Phillies are trying to trade Jonathan Papelbon, according to Ken Rosenthal of

Papelbon has been very good for the Phillies with a 2.67 ERA that’s not far off from his 2.33 ERA for the Red Sox, but his strikeout rate and average fastball velocity both declined this year and … well, giving $46 million to a relief pitcher (and giving up a first-round pick for the privilege) is just sort of crazy in general.

He’s owed $13 million in 2014 and 2015, plus a $13 million option for 2016 that can vest based on games finished. So it’s basically a two-year, $26 million deal with some risk for a three-year, $39 million deal, which is fairly similar to the contracts that Joe Nathan and Brian Wilson just signed as free agents. Still, it’s hard to imagine any team being interested in Papelbon as much more than a salary dump trade.

  1. quintjs - Dec 6, 2013 at 3:51 PM

    Do we take this to mean that Papelbon was one (perhaps the one) of the finger-pointers and disruptions that Cole Hamels was talking about?

    • xmatt0926x - Dec 6, 2013 at 4:23 PM

      Absolutely. It’s the thought that crossed my mind while reading the first sentence of the article. This guy is a tumor that needs to be cut out. People can say “he was just being honest” but we all know that crap never works. Players hate clubhouse politicians and when they do it in the media it’s even worse.

      Most realistic fans understand that the Phillies likely won’t compete this season, but if Amaro is sincere in his belief that they can then he has to get guys like this out of here, even if they eat the overwhelming majority of the salary. It’s addition by subtraction.

  2. ryanrockzzz - Dec 6, 2013 at 3:54 PM

    This was one of the more mind boggling moves of the RAJ era. But more news like this just supports the fact ownership has told Ruben that payroll isn’t going up much at all until 2015.

    • xmatt0926x - Dec 6, 2013 at 4:25 PM

      Unfortunately, it’s become a typical move for Amaro. Huge deals with too many years, an expensive players option at the end of it. All of it while the baseball world scratches it’s head since nobody else was even contemplating offering that player that many years for anywhere close to that much money.

  3. delsj - Dec 6, 2013 at 4:03 PM

    I would move him for next to nothing if a team is willing to take all of his salary (especially since next to nothing is what Ruben usually gets when he trades a veteran anyway).

  4. xdj511 - Dec 6, 2013 at 4:04 PM

    The magic 8-ball says he will go to the… Yankees! For umm… Vernon Wells! Yeah!

    • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Dec 6, 2013 at 4:20 PM

      If the Phillies pay half I would approve this trade.

      • xdj511 - Dec 6, 2013 at 4:25 PM

        I can see them eating some salary if they’re serious about dumping him.

      • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Dec 6, 2013 at 4:33 PM

        They will have to

      • dakotaandotter - Dec 6, 2013 at 4:49 PM

        Vernon Wells is making $21M this year. who is paying that salary?

      • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Dec 6, 2013 at 5:02 PM

        Yankees are paying exactly $0 of it

      • sbmcintosh36 - Dec 6, 2013 at 5:00 PM

        dakotaandotter – Dec 6, 2013 at 4:49 PM

        Vernon Wells is making $21M this year. who is paying that salary?

        That would be the Angels,say what you want about Cashman he got a few miles out of Wells and even more out of Soriano both for pennies

      • cackalackyank - Dec 6, 2013 at 5:41 PM

        Even if the Phillies paid 75% the general feeling is he is a clubhouse cancer, and clown. I think A-rod is providing about all the “entertainment” NYY needs.

      • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Dec 6, 2013 at 5:55 PM

        ARod, Papelbon and McCann in the same clubhouse would be worth the price of admission

  5. stackers1 - Dec 6, 2013 at 4:19 PM

    Biggest douche in baseball. Just my opinion.

  6. cruuuzcontrol - Dec 6, 2013 at 4:26 PM

    Ruben Amaro, Jr., while desperately flipping through Papelbon’s contract… “Jeez, another limited no trade clause! Whose bright idea was it to authori… Oh.. Crap.”

  7. dakotaandotter - Dec 6, 2013 at 4:26 PM

    Papelbon never fit in with the Phillies. they usually sign better clubhouse guys than so it was an odd signing from the beginning. I bet the Phillies are thinking Rosenthal has progressed enough that with Papelbon’s diminishing fastball they are willing to take that chance and use the money they save to make another signing. I’d trade him and pay a fraction of the contract for whatever the market would bear.

  8. proudlycanadian - Dec 6, 2013 at 4:30 PM

    A bit of buyers remorse in Philadelphia. Still, teams continue to hand out those lucrative contracts to free agents who have their best days behind them.

    • 18thstreet - Dec 6, 2013 at 5:46 PM

      I think he’s pitched just fine (though I agree his best days are behind him). The issue, though, is that there’s no bigger waste of money than having a great closer on a non-contending team. Papelbon was on the 2011 Red Sox team (the one that collapsed), and he was utterly irrelevant to preventing the collapse. He was also on the 2007 championship team and had everything to do with their success.

      Bad teams don’t need good closers.

  9. mtr75 - Dec 6, 2013 at 5:01 PM

    I just hate that stupid mouth thing he does. It doesn’t make you look cool, dude. It makes me want to cock-punch you.

    • pisano - Dec 7, 2013 at 12:18 AM

      mtr75…It’s called butt hole mouth.

  10. steelers88 - Dec 6, 2013 at 5:27 PM

    Who is going to take on that type of contract? Especially for a closer.

    • spc7ray - Dec 7, 2013 at 5:28 PM

      The Yankees-They have no closer

  11. phillysports1 - Dec 6, 2013 at 5:42 PM

    As of April 1st 2014*


    = 210 years of experience lol

    • cackalackyank - Dec 6, 2013 at 5:55 PM

      Are you counting the time Howard and Utley spend on the DL as “experience”?

  12. DonKellyBaby - Dec 6, 2013 at 6:16 PM

    All I have to say about the Phillies trying to trade JPap can be summed up from the movie “Taken “: “Good Luck”

  13. phillysports1 - Dec 6, 2013 at 6:35 PM

    No I’m counting their age .

  14. Kevin S. - Dec 6, 2013 at 7:30 PM

    If Rubes is that desperate to dump salary, Yanks will gladly take Cliff Lee off his hands. Picking up the 2016 club option would be the standard price to get him to waive his NTC, presuming the Yanks are one of the 21 teams he can block a deal to.

  15. pastabelly - Dec 6, 2013 at 8:48 PM

    Kind of funny that the Red Sox are on his no trade list. Koji can breathe a sigh of relief.

    • jacflash - Dec 7, 2013 at 8:11 AM

      I think it’s safe to say that Paps is on Ben Cherington’s no-trade list, too.

  16. vincentbojackson - Dec 6, 2013 at 9:20 PM

    No surprise after the public temper tantrum he threw last season.

    You’re a closer, you pitch half an inning a few times a week.

    Stay in your lane.

  17. mrbaseball2013 - Dec 6, 2013 at 9:53 PM

    Let’s face it.
    Ruben Blows!!!! aka Ruin Tomorrow Jr.

  18. sfm073 - Dec 7, 2013 at 4:40 AM

    It’s a bad contract, but clubhouse cancer or not, he’s not the reason the phillies are bad. Wait until the deadline and trade him to a contending team that is desperate fire a closer and they should get more value out of him.

  19. patpatriot7 - Dec 7, 2013 at 6:29 AM

    The duck boats have left the Pru in Boston and, thank goodness, Pap wasn’t on any of them.

  20. spc7ray - Dec 7, 2013 at 5:29 PM

    Trade him to the Yanks for Gardner

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